Alleged office gossip that an employee at a government entity was ‘infected with the HIV virus’ and spreading it because she was promiscuous forced her to institute a R2m defamation case against the ‘gossiper'. A report in The Star notes the parties are not named to safeguard the identity of the alleged victim.

She stated in papers before the Gauteng High Court (Pretoria) that she was devastated about the rumours that were making the rounds. They first surfaced in November 2011, when a colleague told others that the plaintiff had confided in her that she was HIV-positive.

Apparently the colleague said the plaintiff was promiscuous and intentionally trying to infect others. The plaintiff stated that the statements made at her workplace were wrong and defamatory towards her, as everyone would believe she wanted to harm others by infecting them.

She noted the allegations continued last year when her colleague published on Facebook that the plaintiff suffered from HIV/AIDS, that she was promiscuous and that she intentionally infected men.

The colleague also subsequently told a top official at the company that the plaintiff was stalking her and that she was ‘a very dangerous person.’ She told the court this week that she was battling to serve the court papers on the colleague, as the sheriff could not get hold of the woman.

The court ordered that the summons could be served on the defendant through Google Mail or Facebook.

Full report in The Star (subscription needed)